Me @ Inquirer Libre

They say the best things in life are libre.

I spent my Tuesday and Wednesday at the Philippine Daily Inquirer office in Makati for their Libre publication’s UAAP/NCAA sportswriting seminar. I represented College of St. Benilde with Benildean Press photog buddy Aldrich Lim.

Kids from JRU, Adamson, UE, FEU, San Beda, Perpetual Help, DLSU and UST joined and enjoyed the seminar. It was sports media heaven, with prominent personalities gracing the two-day event to share their experiences in sports journalism: Rick Olivares, Ernie Sarmiento, Chito de la Vega, Dennis Aroa, Ruel de Vera, Sev Sarmenta, Francis Ochoa, Mico Halili and PBA player/former UE Red Warrior Paul Artadi.

_DSC0874Aldrich, Mico Halili and myself

The experience was definitely something. A lot of fun memories from those two days. Of course, I ended up apprearing at the sports page of Libre for two straight days (the one on top is from today’s issue). Me and Aldrich was lucky to be given sports books from Mico Halili, who is one of the funniest play-by-play announcers in the PBA. The book that I got was “A Season on the Brink” by John Feinstein. It’s about Bobby Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers of the US NCAA.

Getting to meet Rick Olivares was awesome. I read his blog a lot and I really respect what he does. His write-ups actually has a big influence in my style of writing. The best thing that I’ve learned from Ernie’s talk was the no-no’s in media photography, particularly the “firing squad” shot. Haha! Rui de Vera stressed to us the importance of sports features. Yes, it does give balance to the stat-heavy sports page.

_DSC0690With Sev Sarmenta

Sev Sarmenta is a game speaker. His experience and sense of humor really got us going during our second day. I would love to work with this guy one day. I was able to chat with Francis about the importance of interviews, as well as the perfect size of a paper’s banner story (should be bigger than the rest of the stories). Mico Halili was the last speaker. The dude was fun as usual. I got to ask him about being part of the PBA’s broadcast team and that cockroach story with Coach Richard del Rosario.

_DSC0975With Paul Artadi (4th from right)

Paul Artadi, during our Q&A with him, never ignored a single question. Even my how-does-it-feel-esque question about UE’s Final Four loss to Ateneo in 2002 was answered by “Kid Lightning”. Will write more about him within the next few days.

Sir Dennis and Chito did a great job taking down notes (when we couldn’t) and keeping us entertained at lull moments. Funny guys too!

I got home with a lot of freebies. Not only countless newspapers (Inquirer, Libre, Rick’s column clippings, The Varsitarian and The Bedan’s latest issues) and Mico Halili’s book, but also connections, learnings and an experience of a lifetime. One that I, as well as the other kids who attended, will definitely put into good use right now and in the future.

Darn, that PDI building sure looks like a fun place to work in.

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